Town Councils – A proper and responsible handover system

Most of you have experienced a proper handover of office or organization in your passage through adulthood. In employment, when you are appointed to a new position, assume a new role or command, there is always a proper handover of duties, responsibilities and assets/equipment, and staff from the incumbent to the successor. It is the responsibility of the incumbent to account for everything he is handing over and to brief the successor carefully on the roles and functions of the appointment to assist and ensure that the successor could carry on the role of the office quickly and smoothly.

The successor can refuse to take over if there is no proper handover. Of course this is an ideal case. In reality many steps are often missed, sometimes totally missed. But in a normal situation, there must be a proper and responsible hand over of duties and responsibilities.

The same procedures and considerations are also applicable in the handing over of a society or organization. The incumbent office bearers must hand over all the files, equipment, including furniture and computer systems, money, contact lists, and outstanding matters to the incoming party. The incumbent office bearers cannot take anything belonging to the organization, paid by the organization, along with them like their private properties. A responsible incumbent party would ensure that everything is in order and the in coming party be briefed of all outstanding matters.

The handing over procedures of a society and organization are applicable to a Town Council. They cannot strip bear the office, take away furniture and equipment, systems, files and computer software and hardware. The incoming party must be able to continue to function smoothly, or as smoothly as possible other than the change in personalities and staff. They don’t have to reinvent the wheel, introduce new systems, buy new equipment and furniture and operating systems.

In the case of Town Councils, who is going to pay for a brand new system, furniture and equipment whenever there is a change of political party everything will have to change. Do not waste public money in the process just because of a change in political office. The big question, is the out going incumbents allowed to take things belonging to the Town Council, paid by the Town Council, with them or even sell them away?
There must be continuity in Town Council operations. It is a public organization set up to serve the residents, paid and supported by the fees of the residents and subsidies from public fund.

Is the present Town Council System fitting to serve the people without being hung up to dry when there is a change of MP? Do the people expect someone running for political office to gather a team of administrators, system and what else ready in case he wins an election? Are we asking to much or who is asking too much?

Should there be a proper handover and takeover procedure to ensure continuity, cost savings, prevention of unnecessary expenses, breakdown of services etc etc? Can the present Town Council System that is crippled by a change of political parties serve the interest of the people well? Should the present Town Council System be allowed to continue as it is? What should it be? What is the responsible thing to do?

What should a responsible and functional Town Council System be? You don’t need to be a super talent to know the answer unless you choose not to want to know, not to want to do the right thing. The present Town Council system is there to shackle and hackle a novice MP or a team of MPs taking office or is there to help them serve the people?

What do you think?


Anonymous said...


A scorched earth policy is a military strategy which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area.
It is a military strategy where all of the assets that are used or can be used by the enemy are targeted, such as food sources, transportation, communications, industrial resources, and even the people in the area. .....

Despite being prohibited, it is still a common military practice. The protocol only applies to those countries that have ratified it;
notable countries that have not ratified it are ... Malaysia, .... Singapore, ... and the United States.


Virgo49 said...

Many ex HDB officials are been forced to join the Town council when they are first set up. The main motive is to let the opposition ward screw up badly do the PAP can will back the constituency in case they lose it.

So the HDB officials are fearful if they were t join opposition likely elected wards as there goes their iron clad rice bowls.

Now every elections would be complete change of staff if won by the opposition candidates.

So if lucky goes to PAP stronghold wards. If complete changeover , think they cooperate you???

theonion said...


Would opine that all this are excuses.

Referring to Cynical Investor article

Seriously, of all of AGO’s observations*, one to focus on is

Inadequate oversight of related party transactions involving ownership interests of key officers, hence risking the integrity of such payments

The town council did not fully disclose the related party transactions in its financial statements, nor did it adequately manage the conflicts of interests of related parties arising from ownership interests of its key officers, in contracts amounting to about S$25.9 million in total, the AGO said.

For example, the AHPETC Secretary was the owner of FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI) – one of two companies engaged to carry out managing agent services, as well as essential maintenance and lift rescue (EMSU) jobs. The Secretary, General Manager and Deputy General Manager of AHPETC were directors and shareholders of the other company, FM Solutions and Services (FMSS), the AGO said.

“The key officers of AHPETC who had ownership interests in FMSS and at the same time performed a role (for AHPETC) in approving payments to FMSS were in clear conflicts of interests,” the AGO said. For example, the town council’s General Manager both issued payment claims as director of FMSS while approving the payment as AHPETC staff.

If this had happened at the club where I was Hon Treasurer, not only would have the Committee been booted out but I’m sure members would have lodged a police report, and complained to the registrar of societies.

In addition, since WP decided to accept the resignation of the preexisting MA for Aljunied although there was still another year to run because WP felt that it could work with them, WP has take the responsibility for its own decision.

Anonymous said...

STOP Talking Here N There Lah!

Really do not understand why we
wasted so much time to talk n
talk about running a TC!

If AHPETC is so very very wrong
and affecting the residents, it
may be wise to bring them to
courts, now. Yes NOW! Waste time
no more!

Residents must not "suffered" or
be affected by the results of GE.

The handover must be kind and wishing the winning party well.

Please remember, running TC is
just a small part of a MP job.

MPs are elected not just to run
TCs. They are to discuss national
issues, please!

Sad! Very Sad! Very Very Sad!


恭喜发财 万事如意 身体健康

Anonymous said...

I think the ability of WP to turn a surplus of $3.3 Mio to a $730,000 loss within 2 years of taking over the GRC in 2011 is IMPRESSIVE.

And that loss of $730,000 was for the year 2012. For subsequent years 2013 and 2014, they have not been submitted yet, although we are now in 2015 ! Not submitted because WP internal auditors cannot balance the accounts and the leaders don't bother either, after numerous reminders. We are not looking at weeks late, nor months late, but years late ! Who knows what black hole will it be when all things get reconciled?

And bills like Medishield Life and CPF gets tabled and passed with nary a cogent argument from WP ! And all these happening while FMSS (set up a week after WP won GRC) been happy doing millions of dollars business.

What handover, what computer system? WP is not interested in that!!

Move on redbean.

patriot said...

I disagree with the Notion that Alternative Political Parties are 'ENEMIES' ti INCUMBENT REGIME.
Yes, they are OPPOSITION PARTIES OR COMPETITION PARTIES, NEVER ENEMIES. Even if they clash in ideologies, no political party in any country should be defined as enemy to each other even with extreme different ideologies, such as capitalism, imperialism versus communism.

As to handover of office and appoint, I think they are two kettles of fish. The Inventory should be wholly transfered but the Office Bearers shall be free to choose to stay with current employer, work with the New Owner or leave.

As I do not know the Official Arrangement of Handover of Public Office, am in no position to comment further. However, I certainly agree with Chin Leng that a proper handover with no malicious and or hidden intention should be done in the Most cordial manner, irrespective of the Relationship between the Parties involved. Handover of Town Council is no surrender of battle ground.


Anonymous said...

If AHPETC has done anything unlawful, please charge them in court.
If you are unable to charge them in court for any wrongdoing, then it proves that they are honest people who deserve our continued support in GE 2016.
Thanks to the MA (Managing Agent) hired by AHPETC, we now know the MA's in PAP GRCs have reduced rates in 2014.


Anonymous said...

WP auditors:

The town council accounts are:

In a mess
Are unreliable
WP office bearers have no idea of what happened to the cash

WP admitted "I cant produce the accounts".

Anonymous said...

WP admitted "I cant produce the accounts".
February 17, 2015 10:26 am

Charge WP in the courts lah!
Leave the sanctuary of parliament.
Ask PAP Millionaires to repeat all the allegation outside parliament lah!
We all know.
Say inside parliament cannot be sued.
Say outside parliament can be sued.
So repeat allegations outside parliament lah!

Matilah_Singapura said...

Alamak RB, you want a smooth transition in a situation which is a slurry of shit?

Won't happen lah. There will be, probably significant costs to be borne, and the rate-payer/ tax payer is going to foot the bill. Even if people go to jail, the mess they leave still needs to be cleaned up, and funds will be needed to return to a semblance of "normality".

Life is not fair. Sometimes you get stuck with a bill for something not even your fault---but you'd better pay up or your garbage won't be collected and your surrounds won't be cleaned or maintained.

That's life lah. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

I think all unemployed Singaporean PMETs should set up a company and tender to be Managing Agents for all Opposition Parties who win in GE 2016.
If PAP linked Managing Agents are not interested in Opposition Party's business ... then for sure got very little competition.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 11.19am pls note....

wise idea! wise idea!

you indeed think business...

talk to Gilbert or Goh Beng Seng about this wise idea....


Anonymous said...

They are given a chance now to do it right. Put the money back. Don't say we don't give chance.

If they don't, I will not be surprised if they are charged in court.

Anonymous said...

WP should record the lessons learnt for taking over a PAP-run town council. This will be useful after the next GE when more town councils fall into opposition hands. Share this with other opposition parties so they won't be so easily played out if they win some GRCs. Better still, do bulk purchasing with other opposition parties to bring down costs for the benefit of their residents. In no time, all of Singapore will be clamouring to be run by an opposition town council !

Anonymous said...

The most frightening thing is this Govt has the claw on almost anything and agencies you can think of in the country.

Town Council is only just a mundane thing. Can't imagine the nightmare you find if they are voted out of power by the citizen.
Imagine replacing people of entire civil service and authority, Ministry Of Interior and Defense, and you name it.

I fear for our future generation future.

Amortal said...

Dear Uncle Red Bean,

I have, in the past, mentioned that PAP leaders can sometimes be cruel and wicked. We can find many examples to prove the point.

These deliberate scorch-earth actions of depriving AHPETC of the use of the computer systems and the accompanying software for accounting and administration is an exact example of PAP being cruel and wicked. The AIM fiasco is what everyone of us can see and made known to us.

We cannot see and cannot know what could have gone on behind the scenes on other matters, e.g. directly or indirectly influencing certain contractors not to deal with WP or AHPETC in any way whatsoever. So we cannot anyhow say. But we can extrapolate from the AIM case-study and therefore suspect and/or semi-conclude or conclude one way or another, on other instances or events that had already happened or going to happen in the near or distant future. Unless PAP can be so clean and generous as to share with all of us, the voters, of what they have done/doing behind closed doors or on the golf courses or in the toilets, it will be extremely difficult for us, voters, to know exactly what could have happened or is happening and will be happening still. Right or wrong?

Nevertheless, one is still able to find other examples if one just look back into the past and analyze and use one's common sense, intuition and power of analysis. For example, the locking up of certain people under Internal Security Act without trial, without transparency, without accountability and without responsibility. So very convenient and expedient for the incumbent. But where is justice, equality and democracy - the three stars of the five stars on our National Flag? Some of these people could have been and still are INNOCENT!

A time will come when Karma will catch up with the PAP's cruelty and wickedness. If fact, I can see their Karma has already started to take its toll. Lightning strike our national symbol the Merlion exactly on its head a few years back. At that time I interpreted that since PAP is represented by a Lightning sign, and Merlion represents Singapore, the symbolism of this event means that the Head of Singapore will be striked by PAP itself. And I asked who is this PAP person who is so powerful that he can strike the Head of Singapore? Nobody! I could not find anybody. I realise now that it is the Head of Singapore who happens to be the Head of PAP, who will strike himself with CANCER!

Just simply ask these questions:

1. Why did Lee Hsien Loong suffered from the 1st cancer disease many years back? It was shortly after his amicable, beautiful and elegant First Wife, Dr Wong Ming Yang, tragically lost her life under mysterious circumstances but curtly declared as a heart-attack (what caused her heart-attack?)

2. Why is Lee Hsien Loong suffering from another cancer disease now? Even though the surgical operation has been reported to be successful, the actual result of this operation is not yet certain. One has to wait and see a few years down the road, whether there will be a relapse or not.

Cancer can be very evasive and medical scientists, surgeons and doctors are still searching for more knowledge to discover the mystery of different cancer diseases. And the force of one's Karma can also alter the natural course of events as ascertained or predicted by professionals in their respective fields of study and specialization. So, no one can be cock-sure what the final result of a surgical operation will be. Only time can tell.

I am not suggesting anything. It is up to your imagination, analysis and interpretation of your observation and perception of past, present and future events to conclude one way or another, both ways, or multiple ways - it is a natural sequence of quenching one's curiosity, for those who can think and are bothered enough to think wisely.

I may be wrong but NO cruelty, wickedness, or malice intended.

Anonymous said...

"They are given a chance now to do it right. Put the money back. Don't say we don't give chance."
February 17, 2015 11:49 am

PAPig where got give chance?
Old people selling tissue paper at MRT station also have to pay $100 licence fee.

Charge AHPETC now or forever lose your credibility.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Come on folks, the CNY is around the corner, let's say something good, some kind words like 年年有余,身体建康,万事如意,恭喜发财。

Blessing to our honourable, righteous, compassionate and wise leaders.

Anonymous said...

"They are given a chance now to do it right. Put the money back. Don't say we don't give chance."
February 17, 2015 11:49 am

'They' you mean PAP?

Anonymous said...

Wishing Yew a $8 penile prosthesis after the operation.
Gong Xi Fa Cai.

Anonymous said...

Happy CNY to $1million PAP Ministers and its MPs.

Please spend your easy earned salary carefully for some of you may not be elected by the next GE.

Kung Xi Kung Xi

Anonymous said...

Red Bean,
This must be your BEST post yet.
Exactly, today Singaporeans are confronted with a DISEASED political party in govt which is operating like a law unto themselves, never mind that there are lawyers within it fold who should have known better.

What we are witnessing is the death throes of a once great political party which is determined and prepared to DESTROY the system and takes everything down with it. That is the legacy of Lee Kuan Yew and his inept son, Lee Hsien Loong. Should and can Singaporeans and Singapore allow this to happen before our very eyes? There is a Chinese saying one should take the initiative to strike the first blow. Singaporeans have to take down the PAP and all its coteries and cronies. The immediate targets would be the state controlled propaganda press - the SPH to start. We have to use a strategy of starving it of both access and resources by boycotting its products, making its reporters and staff of access to opposition activities.

Anonymous said...

...denying its reporters and staff of access to opposition activities.

Red Bean do you see the pattern - last CNY it the fault finding over the CNY mini fair organised by WP. This time round its the AHPETC. Coincidence?

Anonymous said...

Lee Kuan Yew Quotes
"The party would withdraw services to the two opposition-held seats of Anson and Potong Pasir, and if all of Singapore votes us out, we withdraw all services everywhere and entirely."
- On Potong Pasir and Anson electing non-PAP MPs

"Please do not assume that you can change governments. Young people don't understand this"
-- MM Lee Kuan Yew on the results of the 2006 election


It's not as if the old fart never warned Singaporeans about what he will do if PAP gets voted out.
We just didn't believe him because we thought he was such a nice man.

Anonymous said...

The man with the good heart just withheld $7m from the AHPETC.

Virgo 49 said...

Follow the DAP that became the ruling state government of Penang. Ironically ex PAP before Singapore out of Malaysia.

They are now the ruling State government and had free hand in whatsoever they are doing now.

No big bully yo breathe over their necks. When they took over from Gerakan, the jokers destroyed many documents and files.

See how they overcame the adversities and now even have surplus every financial year.

So the only way for our opposition not to be hassled by the PAP is to win this coming GE and in turn hassle the PAP fir a change.

Cheers happy CNY!!

Virgo 49 said...

Hi Amortal, to the always been accused of been superstitious Chinese of saying this is karma biting back at whatever bad deeds that you or your parents or descendents had committed that now befallen on you or your family members is dismissed as untrue.

To those who think or always think that they are saved or had been already saved, there is no need further to gain credits by doing good as the thing called karma is all bullshits.

This is just to satisfy their fear and to self consolation that these sufferings are just your Creator testing your faith in Him.

To me this is also bullshit. I believe you reap what you sow.

Virgo 49 said...

Let Karma find its way to visit him this CNY.

Those who preached that they are Holy are the most Unholy.

Bullying tactic using state taxpayers funds to victimise opposition.

Anonymous said...

Where does this come from?! Whoa. You must have access to news that none of us are privy to!